Off the shelves: After a difficult decade for global publishing, Irish publishers had a relatively good year in 2014. Photograph: Dave Meehan

‘Sooner or later the best-selling writers of the 1960s and 1970s would either die or go senile, making room for newcomers like me.” Stephen King recal(...)

Seamus Heaney. Photographer: Jack McManus

Lisa Hannigan Singer Anahorish, soft gradient, of consonant, vowel-meadow. I was really stuck for ages last year and took to reading Se(...)

What was Irish theatre like in 2014? It depends on how you look at it. In the case of the three judges of The Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards – wh(...)

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos: ‘Can you improve upon something as highly evolved and well-suited to its task as the book? And if so, how?’ Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty

In a garage outside Seattle 20 years ago this summer a one-time Wall Street trader called Jeff Bezos made a decision that would change the retail w(...)

Read hot: summer reading at Bull Wall, Dollymount. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

1 Far from the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity by Andrew Solomon (Vintage, £11.99) We tend to think children will resemble(...)

Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The physical book may well be under threat from the digital revolution, but a growing number of crime writers have decided that books are more dangero(...)

Patrick McCabe, Kevin Barry, and Ross Raisin. Photographs: Cyril Byrne, Matt Kavanagh, Angus Muir

Asking someone to name their favourite author or book is one of those cruel, impossible-to- choose questions. For some, picking a literary characte(...)

Emma Donoghue, Dermot Bolger, Liz Nugent and Karen Joy Fowler

A job scanning old regional newspapers (Niamh Boyce’s The Herbalist); a walk around a university campus with a child (Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are All Co(...)

Police search a black youth in Notting Hill during race riots in 1958, subject of Laura Wilson’s The Riot. Photograph: Knoote/Getty Images

T he Double (Orion, €19.99) is the second novel from George Pelecanos to(...)

Liz Nugent: ‘I seem to find screwed-up, sociopathic male characters intriguing.’ Photograph: Aidan Crawley

DARRAGH McKEON All That Is Solid Melts into Air Viking, March Set in a crumbling Soviet Union at the time of the Chernobyl disaster, All(...)